As a result of redistricting, all fifteen State Board of Education seats are on the ballot this year. At least six new faces will be elected to the SBOE. In the March primary election two Republican incumbents were defeated. Additionally, almost half of those vying for the four open seats during the primary will now move to the May runoff.

The State Board of Education’s chief responsibilities include overseeing TEKS development, approving instructional materials through the state adoption process, establishing graduation requirements, and co-administering the Permanent School Fund.  The SBOE has final approval of new state charter schools recommended by the Commissioner of Education via its authority to veto a charter.  The SBOE also reviews the rules proposed by the State Board of Educator Certification. The SBOE is the elected body, accountable to voters, that participates in the leadership of Texas public education along with the gubernatorially-appointed commissioner, Mike Morath. More information about the SBOE is available on the TEA website.

In the past SBOE actions and behavior have been controversial, but beginning during the tenure of former SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill in 2011, the SBOE has become more collegial and pragmatic, as its focus has most often been on the needs of Texas students and educators more than on political agendas.

The makeup of the SBOE is poised for change after the results of this year’s elections:


  • SBOE 8—Incumbent Audrey Young, a Special Education Director in Nacogdoches ISD, was unopposed in the Republican primary and drew no Democratic opponent.  She has served one term on the SBOE and is currently Vice Chair of the Committee on Instruction.
  • SBOE 9—Board Chair Keven Ellis, a Republican, drew no primary or Democratic opponents. He was first elected to the SBOE in 2016, was appointed as Chair by Governor Abbott in 2019, and re-appointed as Chair in 2021.
  • SBOE 10—Tom Maynard, a Republican incumbent, was unopposed in the primary and no Democratic candidates filed for this seat. Maynard has served on the SBOE since 2012 and currently is Chair of the Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund.

SBOE District 14 – Evelyn Brooks captured 57.2% of the Republican votes over Incumbent Sue Melton-Malone, who served on the SBOE since 2013 and is currently Chair of the Committee on Instruction. Ms. Brooks opponent in the general election, Tracy Fisher, was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

SBOE District 15 – Aaron Kinsey captured 52.2% of the Republican voters over Incumbent Jay Johnson, who has served one term on the SBOE. Kinsey is unopposed in the general election as no Democrat filed for this seat.

  • SBOE 1
  • SBOE 2
    • Runoff Democrat – Victor Perez (29.6%) and Pete Garcia (24.4%) will compete in the May Democratic runoff. This seat became open when incumbent Democrat Ruben Cortez opted to run for Texas House.
    • Lj Francis won the Republican primary with 57.5% of the vote.
  • SBOE 4
    • Runoff DemocratCoretta Mallet-Fontenot, with 38.8% of the vote, and Staci Childs, with 28% of the vote, who was endorsed by the Houston Chronicle in the primary, will be in the May Democrat runoff. No Republican candidate filed for this position so the winner of this election will be seated next January. Incumbent SBOE member Lawrence Allen, Jr., created this opening on the SBOE when he filed to run for Texas House.
    • No Republican candidate filed 
  • SBOE 7
    • Republican candidate Julie Pickren won the Republican primary with 50.5% of the vote. Matt Robinson, the incumbent, did not run again after serving one term.
    • Democrat Daniel Hochman was unopposed in the primary.



  • SBOE 3—Republican Ken Morrow won the primary election with 55.9% of the vote and will challenge incumbent Democrat Marisa B. Perez-Diaz, who was unopposed in the primary and has served on the SBOE since 2013.
  • SBOE 5—Incumbent Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau beat two other candidates in the primary by winning 73.7% of the vote. She will face Mark Loewe, winner of the Republican primary, who garnered 53.4% of the vote.
  • SBOE 6—Incumbent Republican Will Hickman, who has served one term, won 65% of the vote over his primary challenger and will face Democrat Michelle Palmer, who was unopposed in the primary election.
  • SBOE 11—Longtime incumbent Pat Hardy, a Republican who first elected in 2002, drew three primary opponents but won the primary with 57.7% of the vote. Her Democratic opponent may Luis Miguel Sifuentes. Sifuentes and James Whitfield, who gained 47.2% and 33.6% of the vote respectively, could face each other in the runoff. However, since second place finisher Whitfield, a former Colleyville principal, announced in December he was dropping out of the race, the outcome of the primary is uncertain at this time.  The third place candidate, D C Caldwell, filed to run in both primaries. Because of this action, he would be ineligible for the general election under Texas law.
  • SBOE 12—Republican Incumbent Pam Little, who was unopposed in the primary, will face Alex Cornwallis, who won the Democratic primary with 51.4% of the vote. Pam is currently Vice Chair of the Board and in her first term.
  • SBOE 13—Democrat incumbent Aicha Davis will face a Republican opponent after the results of the Republican run-off, where two candidates will be competing: Kathryn Monette, who garnered 30.1% of the vote, and A. Denise Russell, who garnered 29.3% of the vote. Aicha Davis has served on the SBOE since 2018 and is currently Vice Chair of the Committee on School Initiatives.

The Republican majority is anticipated to continue in 2023 with only a slight possibility of a change in the current split of 9-6. Based on historical  voting patterns, the 9-6 split will likely be in place next January, but with six new members. This change will likely impact future decisions made by the SBOE on issues related to charter schools and instruction. Aaron Kinsey’s and Pat Hardy’s campaigns received donations from PACs supporting charter schools. Mark Loewe includes support for voucher programs in his platform.  Several candidates, including Julie Pickren, Arron Kinsey, Evelyn Brooks, and Kathryn Monette, oppose Critical Race Theory in their campaign platforms. Others, such as Lj Francie and Michael “Travis” Stevens, state their support in their campaign websites for parental rights and age-appropriate content.  The question that remains is to what extent new members shift the balance on the SBOE and how that will impact the upcoming revision of the social studies standards, as well as approval of instructional materials for science, two significant items that will come before the SBOE in 2023.

Read more about State Board of Education election results here: